What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Children's chapter book involving two girls writing/illustrating a story for school, and one girl is very poor and living with her unstable grandmother [s]

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message 1: by Maggie (new)

Maggie C. | 7 comments I'm searching for the title of a children's book that the school librarian read to my class in the fourth or fifth grade (between 1993 and 1995). It was a great story about having empathy for others and I've thought about it for years.

The story: Girl A loves to write stories. Girl A's teacher assigns the students in the class the task of writing/illustrating their own stories, and the children are paired up into teams of two. The teacher assigns Girl A to work with Girl B--a girl who nobody likes and everyone considers weird. Girl A is upset at the idea of being paired to work with Girl B, but the teacher says that Girl A is the best writer and Girl B is the best illustrator, so they will make a great team.

Girl A and Girl B start to work together on their story (which involves a small animal--maybe a mouse--that goes on a quest). They become closer friends over the course of the assignment and Girl A feels bad for having ignored Girl B in the past. Girl B's illustrations are so advanced they almost appear to be real.

Girl A wonders why Girl B has never invited her over to her home. Girl A finally does see Girl B's home and realizes that Girl B is desperately poor. Girl B and her younger sibling(s) live with their mentally unstable grandmother and clearly do not get enough to eat. There is a scene in which Girl A drinks milk offered to her by the grandmother, and she realizes that the milk has been watered down multiple times.

Girl A and Girl B have a falling out because Girl A wants their story to end with the small animal/mouse achieving its quest. Girl B, on the other hand, points out that life isn't always happy and things don't always end the way you want them to. Girl A eventually tells her mother about Girl B's living conditions, and her mother calls child protection services. Girl B and her younger sibling(s) are taken away from their grandmother and presumably put into foster care.

Girl A feels very guilty for having told her mom and initially Girl B is angry, but in the end they meet one more time and understand one another. Girl A decides to end their story ambiguously, as Girl B had suggested, and the small animal/mouse simply continues its quest (rather than finding the princess/treasure/can't recall exactly what).

Thanks so much all!

message 2: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33481 comments Mod
A real long shot as this story is about one girl teaching a poor girl to read - Samantha Learns a Lesson: A School Story by Susan S. Adler.

Is the setting contemporary or historical?

message 3: by Maggie (new)

Maggie C. | 7 comments Unfortunately that is not the title. The setting was contemporary. The format was high level elementary or middle school chapter book.

message 4: by Holly (last edited Jun 21, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Holly (hollylovesbooks) | 761 comments Daphne's Book https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Someone was looking for this book just the other day!

ETA: link to Daphne's Book

message 5: by Maggie (new)

Maggie C. | 7 comments Thanks Holly! Amazing that someone else wanted to know the title. Maybe it was someone in the same class as me...

message 6: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollylovesbooks) | 761 comments Maggie, we read this book in my 5th grade class too! I think teachers were trying to use it as an anti-bullying read.

message 7: by Maggie (new)

Maggie C. | 7 comments I remember being very touched by the story of their friendship. So glad to hear that current elementary school students are still reading this book!

message 8: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollylovesbooks) | 761 comments Well, I don't know if they are *still* reading this book xD I was in 5th grade in 1999, haha.

message 9: by Maggie (new)

Maggie C. | 7 comments I read your message too quickly and thought that you were actually a 5th grade teacher. If they aren't reading it, they should be!

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